Lismore City Council is asking community members for their impressions of a design for a stormwater treatment wetland to be developed beside Slaters Creek in North Lismore. The design will be displayed near the site in Bridge Street this Saturday morning, June 2, with the opportunity for people to participate in guided walks.
The wetland will be funded through the council's Cleaner Waterways Programme, which identified water quality problems in the Slaters Creek catchment.
The stormwater treatment wetland will improve water flowing to the Wilsons River by reducing sediment and nutrient levels, and will enhance local biodiversity by returning native plants and animals to the area. Landscape features around the wetland will include native tree plantings, a bird hide, a grass access track and interpretive signage.
The constructed wetland will only fill up after storms and rain, allowing the dense native marsh plants to filter and clean the water and then slowly allow clean water to re-enter the creek. It will be surrounded by densely-planted grasses and reeds that will deter and block both cane toads and inquisitive people from trying to enter the wetland.
Local Aboriginal Elders have been consulted on the design and are pleased to see the reintroduction of a wetland to the area.
"North Lismore had a wetland on the site in front of Richmond River High School on McKenzie Park. It was an important hunting and fishing area to our Banyam/Baigham people," Aunty Thelma James said. "The water was always clean and the bird life included jabiru and magpie geese."
It is believed the original wetland was drained and turned into the McKenzie Field cricket pitch during the 1950s.
The council's environmental strategies coordinator Nick Stephens said: "This was the era when floodplains were drained and engineering works involving pipes and concrete were preferred, often resulting in poor water quality and low biodiversity.".
For people unable to attend who are interested in the project, phone Council's Catchment Management Officer Vanessa Tallon on 1300 87 83 87 for more information.
HAVE YOUR SAY
If you are interested in viewing and commenting on the wetland design, head down to Slaters Creek for the Banyam/Baigham Landcare work day on June 2. A display and informative walks to look at the site will be held every half hour between 10am and midday.